The lion. He is the king of the jungle. He sits in the shade as little cubs taunt him and pull at his tail. The hyenas’ watch the lion all the time. Day in and day out. Everyday they test the lion by hunting in his area ever so much than the previous day. Until. Until the lion one day gets a really tired of the hyenas and lets them get real brave and careless, then he attacks and kills every hyena near him.
Its night time. Its still hot from the excruciating days heat. It never really cools off. You’ve been eating dirt and sweating all day. Keeping a cool head as you solve tribal issues with the local tribesman. As you continue to work into the night, pitch black, no headlights, little sound and careful planned formations and routes to set the conditions for the enemy to trigger. It isn’t easy, it doesn’t always go the way you want it to and remember the enemy gets a vote, remember he is trying to kill you as well. The operations continue through the night. Discipline and standard operation procedures are the foundation to success. The little things matter the most. You take in a hundred different elements of information, compile them in your head, decide what your going to do then act. Act faster than the enemy. If you don’t you will let him get one step ahead of you and that is where it is the most important now as the few enemy we are dealing with are the smart ones, the ignorant ones are dead.
It may seem easy to think your warriors can roll out in the middle of nowhere with tanks and airplanes and kill bad guys. May be a few years ago but now, the enemy looks like the farmers and the farmers look like the sheep herders. You have to know and know for sure the difference because if you ultimately kill a farmer and not a bad guy, you just set you self back months of work and most importantly killed an innocent person, the person you are trying to help. We know the difference, but without discipline, you can go wrong quickly. We as Marines focus particularly on discipline. We harp on the small things that may seem unimportant to the average joe but we correct our own on the spot and we are the toughest on or own. Look at the Haditha trials. Those were Marines trying other Marines.
Its now early morning, its cooled off, still in the high 90s and you welcome to cool of the morning. Just then you notice a small issue with your patrol. A small element that may have been ignored because you were tired although if neglected could lead to an innocent person getting killed, being civilian or Marine. You stop the patrol. Iraqi vehicle traffic stops and as a result is backed up. You inform your patrol leader of the issue. Then you tell him to meet you in the middle of the road to show him the problem. He has done this patrol a hundred times and knows the operating procedures. But this time only supervised 99.9 % of his men and that’s when Murphy and his size 12 shoe will step in and really cause you a lot of ass pain. Bleeding ass pain.
The good leaders will see their mistake, take ownership of it and fix it, the poor ones will make excuses. If they choose the latter, that’s when you have chew some ass. I could give a rats ass if you done this particular event a hundred times, the hundred and first is the time you get killed. It’s not about making a scene when you chew ass, it’s not about showing who’s in charge. It’s about getting the issue fixed and doing the freaking right thing when no one is watching and doing it correctly 100% of the time. As a leader, when you screw up, usually its not you that pays the penalty, but your men pay for it in folds. It’s not personal, it’s all business and if you screw up, take it like a man and own up to your mistakes and fix it, fix it now. A good ass chewing will humble anyone of any rank. Some need it more often than others.
Its now late afternoon, its in the 120s, you have done everything correctly, you have disseminated information, maneuvered in the right place but today the bad guy must have slept in late and today you didn’t meet. It doesn’t matter because the details of your work and the presence of you being there have made a difference and it says something about the enemy when you have to look, work, plan, plan some more and work some more to find them. It says there isn’t many left and that regardless of how many ass chewing you give or get, the extinction of the enemy is a good thing for everyone.
Regardless of what your profession is or what you do, if you see something wrong and don’t fix it, you are just as guilty. Sometimes you got to chew some ass or be prepared to get yours chewed.